Writing copy to boost conversions is not something that comes easily without practice.
There are a number of things to consider when undergoing the task of writing copy. And the things outlined in this week’s post are NOT necessarily things you may have considered before…
Let’s talk about psychology-based copywriting tips. Tips that make your words latch onto your reader’s subconscious, which solidify the connection between you as you become the best provider of the solution to their problem… and thus the only logical choice.
First of all, your copy needs to be coherent. That’s a given. However, to make sure your words and syntax tally up to keep the reader interested and your connection strong, you need to include things I like to call ‘Coherence Flags’.
- Coherence Flags
These are ‘connections’ within the copy. They connect ideas together for the reader, which prevents them from getting overwhelmed or simply bored when reading your copy.
Here’s an example from Nick Kolenda’s Psychology & Marketing article:
“Your skin’s natural oils keep it silky and supple. As you age, it becomes less elastic and the production of oil slows down. Aging can cause dull, dehydrated skin.”
“Your skin’s natural oils keep it silky and supple. But as you age, your skin becomes less elastic and the production of oil slows down. That is why aging can cause dull, dehydrated skin.”
Read those aloud and you’ll catch my drift. The second phrasing is much more intriguing and interesting than the first. Coherence Flags are casual reminders within a sentence or paragraph that keep the reader on track, and (if you’re encouraging them to buy your product or service), more likely to choose you as the solution to their problem.
2. False Truth
The false (or illusory) truth concept keeps our brain from becoming overwhelmed with day-to-day decision-making by providing a smooth, easy alternative. Simply put- repetition matters.
The more you reiterate the same concept within your copy, the more accurate it becomes in the mind of the reader, thus causing them to invest their belief.
This isn’t just about truth and lies… this is also a direct link to the know, like and trust elements of our relationships, or connections with our customers. Repetition also solidifies TRUST.
The next time you write a piece of copy, repeat the phrases you want your readers to BELIEVE and invest their time (and money…) in. Keep doing what you can to strengthen the connection between your words and your reader’s psyche.
- Positive Energy
This first tactic can be used by ANYONE if they want people to think about them in a positive manner. Even dentists use this as a calming mechanism when conversing with their patients (particularly the nervous Joes).
Your customer’s name.
Kolenda states that as human beings we have “implicit egotism, a natural tendency to be self-centered”, and so when we are addressed with our own name, we become naturally drawn to the source and thus more likely to pay attention.
Using your customer’s name when addressing them directly in your copywriting efforts will trigger positive energy, which engulfs your entire pitch and is proven to enhance the message you’re sending out.
One quick way to incorporate your customer’s name is in email subject lines. Say you’re sending an invite to your next Webinar, and the event takes place the following day. You could have the subject line as “Join me tomorrow, “~Contact.FirstName~?” When people look through their inbox, they are more likely to open an email that contains their name in the subject line.
Another way to evoke positive energy is to offer freedom.
Sure, you’ve already got your OFFER, which is what you’re trying to sell using these psychological tips in your copy. But you can make something I like to call a ‘ghost’ offer; FREEDOM.
When your customers have freedom to choose, they feel less pressure, and are thus more reasonable when it comes to making buying decisions.
Typical ‘freedom’ phrases include:
It’s entirely up to you…
It’s your call!
The decision is yours…
Does [OFFER] meet your needs? You decide.
Can [OFFER] do this for you, too? That’s up to you…
People like to be completely in control of where they send their money. By appealing to them on a personal level AND giving them choices, you’re onto a winner.
- Rhetorical Questioning
We learn about rhetorical questions at a young age, but I cannot stress how important they are when you’re trying to strengthen the connection with your customer. They work. All the time.
They’re devious little phrases that jump out from the shadows acting all innocent in their endeavours, when in actual fact they’re accelerating the persuasive, trusting nature of your copy by miles.
They generate an immediate response from the reader by causing them to question themselves.
This isn’t a bad thing; human beings love questions. It’s weird.
Questions provide us with a narcissistic opportunity to clarify MORE about ourselves.
In your copy, rhetorical questions like ‘do you ever feel unappreciated at work?’ get us thinking, and we are more likely to read on to find out what the copy suggests as a solution (if the answer is yes, of course). Rhetorical questions can always be less specific, such as ‘do you see what I mean?’ (the reader then thinks ‘do I?’ and peruses the content AGAIN to make sure they do).
In his Innovation Insights article, Josh Little says; “Beyond being fun, quizzes are helping people simplify a complex world, understand their place in that world and convey their personal narrative.”
The bottom line is, questions increase engagement.
If you harness the power of textural adjectives, you give your copy more than just ‘body’. You give it physical ‘touch’. Want your words to grate your reader like sandpaper? Throw in a ‘coarse’ or ‘rough’.
In Kayleigh Moore’s Entrepreneur article, she explains the fMRI data collected from experiments shows that activity jumps in the somatosensory cortex when textural metaphors are used—but is quiet when literal meanings are used in their place.
This where you can consider the ‘surprise’ element of your copy. Surprising your readers with a textural adjective will trigger a better response than a bland colloquialism that they would probably be expecting anyway.
There are countless psychological techniques that you can apply to your copywriting. As long as you harness the above correctly and avoid overcomplicating your prose, you’ll definitely start seeing a difference in the response your copy generates.